The Boston Bruins are in the midst of one of only three gaps between games that will last four nights in the 48-game, 99-day regular season. The only other breathers of the same length will be between Feb. 17 and Feb. 21 and between April 23 and April 27.
There will thus be few opportunities quite like this to slow down, step back and plunge deeper into some of the more intriguing numbers their performance has spawned. Or to examine and absorb the potential meaning of the finer areas of their collective game or the first impressions of some of their newer and/or more scrutinized personnel.
Or even, in at least one case, to dole out a harmless serving of fun trivia from the statistical dessert bar.
If defensemen had a goals-against average included in their stat line, this would be rookie Dougie Hamilton’s so far. It is only one point above the 2.38 opposing goals Boston has allowed per game as a team.
Using the same calculation method for a goalie by dividing the product of goals on a player’s watch and 60 by a player’s cumulative ice time, one will find that Hamilton has the best GAA among Bruins blueliners who have dressed for each game so far.
Dennis Seidenberg, who has missed two games, is the only Boston blueliner with both a lower GAA (1.83) and a higher allotment of average ice time per night (21:48).
Naturally, this means the Boston defense has otherwise been perfect in the final 20 regulation minutes of any given game. Meanwhile, their only other non-win was the direct result of the only other goal they have allowed after the second intermission, that being Marian Gaborik’s overtime strike on Jan. 23.
Outside of the Buffalo bout, in which they had one third-period goal, the Bruins have outscored their opponents in the final full-length stanza, 7-0, for an exact average tally of 1-0 in a span of seven contests.
No surprise here. This is largely the same team that went a pristine 32-0-0 when leading after 40 minutes last year.
Winger Brad Marchand has scored a team-leading five goals on 10 shots on net for a whopping 50 percent connectivity rate. At 15.4 percent and with two strikes, David Krejci is the only other Bruin with so much as 15 percent accuracy as well as multiple goals through eight games.
Marchand’s rate is bound to recede to more earthly numbers within the next 40 contests. Nonetheless, his start to his third NHL campaign ought to instill more confidence to himself and his teammates when the puck meets his blade.
That, of course, assumes he does not lose too much of his physical form and psychological conviction in the wake of this past Saturday’s injury.
At least prior to Monday night’s action, the Bruins had the NHL’s best winning percentage at the faceoff dot. Among their faceoff leaders have been Rich Peverley (19-of-28), Patrice Bergeron (101-of-159), Chris Kelly (48-of-79) and Krejci (67-of-120).
That's days since a member of the Bourque family last scored a goal for Boston until the franchise’s most recent game on Saturday.
Barely eight months removed from the deal that sent his rights from the Capitals to the Bruins and two weeks after his Spoked-B debut, the younger Bourque tuned the mesh to decide Saturday’s 1-0 triumph in Toronto.
Eerily enough, both Boston backstops from those two games, John Grahame in 2000 and Tuukka Rask in 2013, stopped an identical 21 opposing shots for the shutout on those nights.